CENTER VALLEY, Pa. – The returning Patriot League champion American University women's basketball team has been selected to finish second in the Patriot League for the 2018-19 season, the league announced Thursday morning. AU also had an individual honoree in the release, as senior Cecily Carl was one of five players selected to the Preseason All-League Team.
The Eagles, who captured both the regular-season and tournament titles last season en route to the program's second berth into the NCAA Tournament, received 137 total points and two first-place votes in a poll of the league's head coaches and sports information directors.
Bucknell led the preseason rankings with 154 points and 14 first-place votes while Loyola Maryland sat just behind AU in third with 129 points and four first-place votes. Lehigh (91 points), Navy (91), Holy Cross (81), Army West Point (75), Lafayette (63), Boston University (56) and Colgate (23) rounded out the poll.
Although the Eagles graduated six players from the 2017-18 squad, including Patriot League Player of the Year Emily Kinneston and All-Patriot League honoree Maria Liddane, the team is returning a number of key components from the championship squad. Highlighting their number is Carl, who earned a spot on the Preseason All-League Team for the first time in her career.
Carl is one of seven returners from the historic 2017-18 and helped lead the team to a 26-7 overall record, 16-2 in the league. She closed the season as the Patriot League Tournament MVP and a Second Team All-Patriot League honoree after averaging 13.2 ppg and 8.4 rpg. The Mechanicsburg, Pa., native will open her senior campaign only 52 points away from the 1,000-point milestone, putting her in position to become only the third player in program history to reach 1,000 points, 500 rebounds, and 100 blocks.
Also highlighting the returning squad is senior Elina Koskimies, who was a consistent starter for the Eagles last season and broke into the AU record books after tying the program record for single-game 3-point field goals made (7). Classmate Kaitlyn Lewis will also be a threat for the Eagles on the perimeter, as she shares the top spot in the record books for single-game 3-point percentage from the 2016 season.
AU also welcomes an exciting five-player freshman class with forward Taylor Brown (Lakeville, Minn.) and guards Emily Fisher (Melbourne, Australia), Jade Edwards (Chicago, Ill.), Maddie Doring (Sayreville, N.J.) and Laura Graytok (Pittsburgh, Pa.).
The Eagles will open the 2018-19 campaign with a pair of home games against Tulsa (Nov. 9) and George Mason (Nov. 14).
For the latest on American University Women's Basketball, stay tuned to AUEagles.com and follow the team on Twitter @AU_WBasketball.
2018-19 Patriot League Women's Basketball Preseason Poll
- Bucknell, 154 points (14 first-place votes)
- AMERICAN, 137 (2)
- Loyola Maryland, 129 (4)
- Lehigh, 91
- Navy, 91
- Holy Cross, 81
- Army West Point, 75
- Lafayette, 63
- Boston University, 56
- Colgate, 23
2018-19 Patriot League Preseason Player of the Year
Lauren Manis, Holy Cross, Jr., F
2018-19 Patriot League Women's Basketball Preseason All-League Team
Cecily Carl, American, Sr., F
Kaitlyn Slagus, Bucknell, Sr., F
Kate Walker, Bucknell, Sr., G
Lauren Manis, Holy Cross, Jr., F
Stephanie Karcz, Loyola Maryland, Jr., G